Agriculture

When pests graze certain potatoes, yields double
January 16, 2018 10:50 AM - Cornell University

When some Colombian potato varieties are lightly grazed by a pest, the plants respond by growing larger tubers, at times doubling their yields. Although many types of plants can repair pest damage while maintaining productivity, it’s rare to find species that actually overcompensate and increase productivity.

Northern corn leaf blight genes identified in new study
January 16, 2018 08:36 AM - University of Illinois

Midwestern corn growers know the symptoms of northern corn leaf blight all too well: greenish-gray lesions on the leaves that can add up to major yield losses if not detected and treated early. Resistance genes have been identified in corn, but the fungal disease has found ways to sneak around corn’s defenses. Now, researchers have figured out how the fungus is outsmarting corn, and they may be able to use this information to help corn fight back.

“We were looking for genes in the fungus that trigger disease in corn. With this information, corn breeders could someday build more durable resistance in future hybrids,” says Santiago Mideros, plant pathologist in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois.

Making driverless farm equipment even smarter
January 15, 2018 08:36 AM - University of Regina

Driverless farm equipment is becoming more and more attractive to today’s farmers as they battle short growing seasons and rising fuel and equipment costs.

Dr. Mehran Mehrandezh has his eye on improving crop yields through the use of automation and algorithms, focussing his efforts on making the entire tillage process more precise.

New Study From the University of Halle: How Climate Change Alters Plant Growth
January 12, 2018 11:58 AM - Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU)

Global warming affects more than just plant biodiversity - it even alters the way plants grow. A team of researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) joined forces with the Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry (IPB) to discover which molecular processes are involved in plant growth. In the current edition of the internationally renowned journal "Current Biology", the group presents its latest findings on the mechanism controlling growth at high temperatures. In the future this could help breed plants that are adapted to global warming.

New Study From the University of Halle: How Climate Change Alters Plant Growth
January 12, 2018 11:58 AM - Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU)

Global warming affects more than just plant biodiversity - it even alters the way plants grow. A team of researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) joined forces with the Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry (IPB) to discover which molecular processes are involved in plant growth. In the current edition of the internationally renowned journal "Current Biology", the group presents its latest findings on the mechanism controlling growth at high temperatures. In the future this could help breed plants that are adapted to global warming.

As Cli­mate is Warm­ing Up, More Bird Nests Are Des­troyed in Finnish Farm­land
January 12, 2018 11:52 AM - University of Helsinki

Finnish farmers are adapting to the warming climate by anticipating the time when they sow their fields in the spring. At the same time, birds have also advanced the time of breeding as the spring temperatures are becoming milder in response to climate change.

Blame it on the rain: Study ties phosphorus loading in lakes to extreme precipitation events
January 11, 2018 02:01 PM - National Science Foundation

While April showers might bring May flowers, they also contribute to toxic algae blooms, dead zones and declining water quality in U.S. lakes, reservoirs and coastal waters, a new study shows.

Blame it on the rain: Study ties phosphorus loading in lakes to extreme precipitation events
January 11, 2018 02:01 PM - National Science Foundation

While April showers might bring May flowers, they also contribute to toxic algae blooms, dead zones and declining water quality in U.S. lakes, reservoirs and coastal waters, a new study shows.

Stanford researchers find major food retailer's sustainability program drives farmers' environmental practices
January 10, 2018 11:06 AM - Stanford University

When grocery stores tout sustainable products, consumers may take their claims at face value. Yet few studies have analyzed whether or not companies who claim to improve the sustainability of their products are actually changing practices in their supply chains.

Major food retailer's sustainability program drives farmers' environmental practices
January 9, 2018 09:30 AM - Danielle Torrent Tucker, Stanford University

In one of the first analyses of a company-led sustainability program in the food and agriculture space, Stanford researchers found a major grocery chain fostered increased adoption of environmental practices at the farm level.

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